Indulge in some literary banting
25 April 2017 01:04 (South Africa)
Africa

02 March: Zimbabwe’s indigenisation law for foreign-owned companies kicks in

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

  • Africa
mugabe indigenisation

Also today: Darfur said to be in flames again; Niger’s junta warns of famine; Ugandans petitioned by concerned world over gay bill; Gaddafi’s son visits his patsy in Libyan jail.

Zimbabwe’s indigenisation law for foreign-owned companies kicks in

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s law that forces foreign-owned companies to sell a majority stake to indigenous citizens is now in effect. They’ve got five years to pass on a 51% stake in firms worth more than $500,000, or their local bosses may go to jail. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, whose Movement for Democratic Change party is in a fragile power-sharing government with President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF, says the law is illegal because it was published without due process. Mugabe’s seizure of white-owned farms has left the country needing at least $10 billion to get back on its feet. But the money’s not forthcoming from Western donors while he creates conditions for further economic chaos. The country is now a net importer of food, after suffering a protracted period of hyper-inflation. Things are more stable since the MDC joined government last year, but only just.

Photo: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe views an exhibition at the Pan African Investment Summit at Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare February 17, 2010. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Read more: BBC, Sapa-Dpa, The Zimbabwe Situation

 

Darfur said to be in flames again

Sudan

Hundreds of people are thought to have died in fighting between the Sudanese army and Darfur rebels around the market town of Deribat. Not long ago the outgoing military chief of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur said the war was over. Sudan’S President Omar al-Bashir said the same thing last week after signing a cease-fire with Darfur's most powerful rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, and striking a truce with his old foe Idriss Deby, the president of neighbouring Chad. Now, as many as 40,000 civilians have fled fighting between the government and the rebel Sudan Liberation Army - which didn’t sign any peace deals - despite Sudan’s army denying any fighting was taking place. Last week the SLA claimed it was attacked by Sudanese troops backed by helicopter gunships and Russian-built MiG fighters. The truth will out, bit by bit.

Read more: Reuters, Voice of America, Agence France-Presse

 

Niger’s junta warns of famine

Niger

The new military junta in Niger says millions of people are threatened by famine. No wonder the opposition supported their coup against President Mamadou Tandja on 18 February, who always denied talk of critical food shortages. The junta also took the opportunity to again promise an end to corruption and the abuse of power, saying democratic elections will be held after an unspecified transitional period. Tandja himself was elected eight months after a coup, with the army stepping back as soon as its work was done. The opposition are hoping they’ll do the same thing again, after Tandja was ousted for trying to hold power beyond the constitutional limit of 10 years. The coup took place as Niger was bracing for food shortages and possible acute hunger after poor rains last year. Maybe there’ll be fewer starving people now.

Read more: Reuters, AP

 

Ugandans petitioned by concerned world over gay bill

Uganda

Opponents of Uganda’s anti-gay bill have presented an online petition to parliament decrying the death sentence for gays convicted of being serial offenders, HIV-positive, or having homosexual relations with a minor or disabled person. But most of the nearly half-million signatories are foreigners who back condemnation of the bill by the EU and US President Barack Obama. The opposition campaign is being led by a local Anglican priest, HIV/Aids activists and civic organisations. However, it seems that ordinary Ugandans who oppose the bill are pretty scarce. Ugandans already face 14 years in prison for being gay, but the bill ups this to life in prison and calls for seven years in jail for those who help a person to engage in a homosexual act in any way, including not informing authorities of someone suspected of being gay. The government says it can’t intervene before parliament votes on the bill, because its sponsor, Ugandan MP David Bahati, has presented it as a private member's bill.

Read more: BBC, Sapa, Voice of America, AP, GoPetition

 

Gaddafi’s son visits his patsy in Libyan jail

Libya

A businessman detained in Tripoli since 2008 when a diplomatic row broke out between Switzerland and Libya has been visited by the man responsible for his troubles. He was reported as being polite and diplomatic about the so-called courtesy call from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son, Hannibal, who was arrested briefly in Geneva on charges of mistreating two domestic servants. The charges were dropped, but since the incident, the Libyans took some $5 billion out of Swiss bank accounts, suspended oil supplies to Switzerland and detained two Swiss nationals, one of whom was allowed to leave Libya last week. The jailed man, Max Goeldi, said he hoped Hannibal could use his influence to help him return home, saying Switzerland must give Gaddafi’s son the right to sue Geneva authorities over a police photograph of his arrest that was published on the front page of a Swiss newspaper. Beyonce rocked Hannibal at a very bling New Years’ Eve party in the Caribbean last year. Strange world we live in.

Read more: Reuters, The Times, Guardian

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

  • Africa

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